White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was put in the challenging position Wednesday morning of defending some extremely questionable statements made by President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry regarding ISIS.
“I would encourage you to spend just as much time focusing on the president’s actions as you do his words,” Earnest said in an interview with “Fox & Friends.”
Well, considering that his actions are even more problematic than his words, Earnest should be grateful that we don’t.
But the words are bad enough. When there has been a terrorist attack of this magnitude, and all the president can think to say about it is that it has been a “setback,” something’s gone of the rails. Something is wrong when the leader of the free world examines a major flaw in his strategy, thinks it over, and comes to the conclusion that everything is going according to plan. It’s one thing to be a fool. It’s another thing to stoop to such ignorance that you can never be anything but a fool.
But what John Kerry said was even more baffling. Speaking Tuesday at the U.S. embassy in Paris, Kerry said there was a difference between the attacks last Friday and the assault on Charlie Hebdo in January.
“There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that,” he said. “There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of — not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that. This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn’t to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong. It was to terrorize people.”
And what meaningful distinction is that? Legitimacy? Really? To barge into the offices of a magazine and kill people for drawing cartoons that you don’t like? That’s considered “rational” in the eyes of Secretary Kerry? Or somehow different from slaughtering innocent people at a rock concert?
It was, in part, our unwillingness to fully condemn the Charlie Hebdo attack that brought us to the attack on Friday. You may remember how quickly liberal Americans turned from “Je suis Charlie” to “Welllll…we really shouldn’t be drawing things that make other people mad. In fact, people who do that are really bad people, too.”
The attacks in Paris last Friday were no more irrational and random than the attacks in January. Talk to the men who planned the attacks, and you’ll find that they had their reasons. They didn’t just orchestrate the whole thing because they couldn’t find anything good to watch on TV. Everything that everyone does, they do for a reason.
So if you can find a justification for the Charlie Hebdo massacre, you can find a justification for the one at the concert. And if the lasting lesson of Charlie Hebdo was “Stop offending Muslims,” then what will be the lasting lesson of Friday’s attack?
Words, if believed, guide actions. So no, Josh Earnest, we will not focus on one over the other. One leads to the other. And the words of Obama and Kerry show that their actions will be just as idiotic.